Local Government Cullman adopts vaping ordinance; police honored | The Cullman Tribune

Local Government

Cullman adopts vaping ordinance; police honored

Patrolman Kyle Foshee was recognized for his actions last month that led to the arrest of two suspects charged with numerous crimes across the state. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN - On Monday evening, the Cullman City Council adopted an ordinance banning the use of vaping devices in public places where the use of cigarettes are banned. It also honored four city police officers and gave its approval to requests to get the area’s fall festival season underway.

Vaping ordinance

The council suspended rules of procedure to adopt Ordinance No. 2019-04 on its first reading.  The ordinance places “vaping” devices in the same category as tobacco products under the regulations of the Clean Indoor Air Act, banning them from all public places where cigarettes would be banned, but allowing their use inside retail establishments that specialize in selling such devices.

The move came after Dr. Scott Warner came forward to ask the council at its Sept. 24 meeting to consider including e-cigarettes and vaping devices under the same regulations as cigarettes and other tobacco products.  Warner requested that e-cigarettes be classified in the same category as tobacco products under the Clean Indoor Air Act. He cited information from the U.S. Surgeon General listing dangerous substances found in the vapor and calling on local leaders to consider including e-cigarettes in smoke-free policies and laws, preventing access to e-cigarettes by youth, price and tax policies and retail licensure of e-cigarettes, regulating e-cigarette marketing likely to attract youth, educational initiatives targeting youth and young adults.

On Oct. 1, the council heard from Lee Black, owner of Vapors, Inc. vape shop and Joshua Register of the Breathe Easier Alliance of Alabama, who came to respond to Warner’s comments. The two speakers did not oppose the doctor’s request in general but requested that vaping shops be exempted from the regulations, so customer can try products and devices inside shops.

Read more about the Clean Indoor Air Act at www.alabamapublichealth.gov/tpts/clean-indoor-air-act.html.

Police recognized

Councilman Andy Page, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, gave a certificate of appreciation to Cullman Police Department Patrolman Kyle Foshee, whose actions during a routine traffic stop led to the arrest of two female members of the multi-state “Felony Lane” white collar crime ring.  A search of the pair’s hotel room turned up computers, printers, check paper, forged checks and seven different identification cards. In all, the two suspects face 35 charges.

Three officers were recognized for their lengths of service:

  • Capt. Bobby Kelley - 35 years
  • Lt. Jason Mickle - 20 years
  • Officer John Anderson - 15 years

Other council business

In accordance with the spirit of the fall festival season, the council approved a number of special event requests for special events:

  • from Shannon Witcher to hold a trunk or treat in the 100 block of First Avenue Northeast in the Warehouse District for Grace Chapel on Oct. 26, 2018 from 4-10 p.m.  The request specified closing the street early Friday morning, to avoid having to move people out right before the start of the event.
  • from Johnann Moore to hold a family-friendly block party on First Avenue Northeast from Lavish Boutique to Flavors Bakery in the Warehouse District, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Mae’s Food Hall on Oct. 26-27, 2018.  The request specified closing the street from 5 a.m. on Oct. 26 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 27. The request for such a lengthy closure was approved with the stipulation that all businesses in the affected section of the Warehouse District had to agree to the closing.  Mayor Woody Jacobs was authorized to handle any issues that might arise with those businesses on behalf of the council.
  • from Kelly Keel of Legacy Realty Group to hold a trunk or treat at 1844 Second Ave. NW on Oct. 27, 2018 from 6-8 p.m.
  • from Rebekah Mickle of Cullman First Baptist Church to hold the church’s fall festival and trunk or treat on Oct. 31, 2018 from 6-8 p.m.  The request asked for the closure of parts of Third Avenue, Fifth Street and Sixth Street.
  • from Karen Speegle of Seventh Street Baptist Church to hold the church’s fall festival on Oct. 31, 2018 from 6-8 p.m.  The request asked for the closure of Fifth Avenue between Seventh and Eighth Streets.
  • from Keith Peinhardt of Buettner Brothers Lumber Company for a special event permit to hold a Contractor and Customer Appreciation Luncheon on Nov. 9, 2018 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., requiring the closure of Seventh Avenue Southwest in front of the store.
  • from Ronald Stevenson of Corner Ministries for sidewalk ministry at various dates and times in Cullman subject to prior approval by the police chief.  The request specified that Stevenson plans to preach and display signs.

The council approved the following ordinances and resolutions:

  • Resolution No. 2019-11 to enter into a professional services contract with KPS Group, Inc. for the development of subdivision regulations, neighborhood development regulations and zoning ordinances.  This resolution takes the place of a previous agreement between the City and the North Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG).
  • Resolution No. 2019-12 to hold a special called Cullman City Council Meeting on Nov. 2, 2018 at noon.  At that time, it will declare a vacancy on the council as Garlan Gudger leaves to begin service as a state senator.
  • Resolution No. 2019-13 to enter into a professional services contract with Thompson Engineering, Inc. for inspections and other engineering services on Eva Road Bridge.

The council also held a first reading of Ordinance No. 2019-03 to approve the 2019 Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday, which will take place Feb. 22-24, 2019.  On this first reading, the council took no action.

The Cullman City Council usually meets on the second and fourth Monday nights of each month at 7 p.m. in the Cullman City Hall auditorium.  The public is invited to attend.

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